CEA Krishnamurthy Subramanian to return to academics

Indicates he will not seek a reappointment at end of 3-year tenure

Chief Economic Advisor Krishnamurthy Subramanian has decided to return to academia at the completion of his three-year tenure in early December.

“To get an opportunity to serve one’s nation is an absolute privilege! Being provided the opportunity to contribute during a period of tremendous uncertainty and epochal change has been the lucky icing on the cake. So, while being conscious of the enormous privilege bestowed on me, I will happily return back to serving the country as a researcher after fulfilling my three-year commitment,” he said in a statement on Friday.

An IIT Kanpur and IIM Calcutta alumnus, Mr Subramanian was a professor at the Indian School of Business before his appointment as the CEA in December 2018. The CEA’s post had been vacant at the time for a few months after his predecessor Arvind Subramanian left citing ‘personal reasons’.

The CEA effusively thanked the Prime Minister Narendra Modi for being a ‘keen listener’ with an intuitive understanding of economic policy, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for allowing the Economic Surveys he presented to be free-spirited, and officials across ministries for being receptive to his ideas by supporting as well as challenging them.

“In close to three decades of my professional life, I am yet to encounter a more inspiring leader than the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modiji. His intuitive understanding of economic policy combines with an unmistakeable determination to use the same to elevate the lives of common citizens,” the CEA said about his experiences with the PM.

“The momentous change in India’s economic thinking post the pandemic – inter alia embracing ethical wealth creation by empowering the private sector and economic recovery driven by government capital expenditure – bears testimony to his leadership. Alloyed with his keen listening, the freedom to speak one’s mind that he unstintingly encouraged enables such phenomenal change. On umpteen occasions, I have walked out inspired after a meeting with him – only a genuine leader can elicit such sentiment,” Mr Subramanian noted.

Terming Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman a ‘scholar at heart’, he said her ‘sense of humour and easy manner’ play a critical role in enabling a healthy debate in North Block meetings ‘that is so essential amidst epochal change’.

Signing off, the CEA said: “India is witnessing dramatic change. After all, as my late father had dreamt and worked so hard for, a person who was the first ever in his entire clan to step into the hallowed portals of a university gets the honour to serve the nation. Such an opportunity to “Live the Indian Dream” manifests under a leader who takes equal pride in his humble origins. That such a savant comes away genuinely admiring the leader symbolises an India where meritocracy is in and entitlement is out.”

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